South Hadley schools move forward with hybrid learning

  • Plains Elementary School in South Hadley.

Staff Writer
Published: 11/7/2020 3:12:10 PM

SOUTH HADLEY — The South Hadley School Committee confirmed a plan this week for a Monday return to in-person learning for the highest-needs students, followed by a hybrid return in January for the general student population.

The decision came after negotiations this week between the committee and the South Hadley Teachers Association, after numerous teachers had expressed discomfort with an earlier plan approved in August to shift from remote to in-person learning this month.

An agreement hashed out Wednesday calls for the district to “do our best … to honor requests (from teachers) to work from home,” said School Committee member Charles Miles. “At the same time, we are going to do our best to provide in-person services to our special education students.”

According to interim Superintendent Diana Bonneville, enough teachers are willing to teach in-person to allow those who don’t feel comfortable returning to remain remote.

This plan may present “a couple of problem areas,” especially at the high school level during electives, according to Bonneville. But “as of now,” she said, “whoever doesn’t feel comfortable returning on Monday doesn’t have to.”

At the moment, only preschool teachers and some of their support staff have been deemed essential, Bonneville said.

As students return, the district will continue to work with the teachers regarding a memorandum of agreement.

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at jvoghel@gazettenet.com.

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